UW General Internal Medicine Research

Research from investigators in the Division of General Internal Medicine represents a wide range of topics including: Medical Education, Epidemiology, Health Care Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction and Safety, Technology Implementation and Medical Errors, HIV Care, Preventive and Disease Management, Substance Use Disorders and Tobacco Research.

The total research funding for the Division of General Internal Medicine currently exceeds $8 million. The majority of this research funding comes from the NIH (i.e., R01s, T-32s, K-12 awards) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The faculty members actively involved in research include:

  • Timothy Baker, PhD, Professor (Tobacco Research)
  • Angela Byars-Winston, PhD, Associate Professor (Career Development for Faculty and Students in Science, Medicine, and Engineering)
  • Jessica Cook, PhD, Assistant Professor (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Addictive Behaviors)
  • David Feldstein, MD, Associate Professor (Type 2 Implementation Research in Chronic Kidney Disease, Evidence-Based Medicine and Medical Education Research)
  • Michael Fiore, MD, MPH, MBA, Professor (Tobacco Research, Tobacco-Related Disparities)
  • Douglas Jorenby, PhD, Professor (Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care, Smoking Cessation)
  • Mary Pak, MD, Associate Professor (Patient Safety, Preventive and Disease Management, Health Care Financing and Reform)
  • Megan Piper, PhD, Assistant Professor (Smoking Cessation, Psychiatric Disorders in Smokers)
  • Christie Seibert, MD, Associate Dean/Associate Professor (Medical Education)
  • Stevens Smith, PhD, Associate Professor (Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care, Smoking Cessation)
  • James Sosman, MD, Associate Professor (Hepatitis B and C Care, HIV Care, HPV Care)
  • Elizabeth Trowbridge, MD, Professor (Education Innovations)
  • Tosha Wetterneck, MD, MS, Associate Professor (Technology Implementation, Medication Errors, Error Prevention and Recovery, Physician Job Satisfaction, Hospital Medicine)

Current Research Projects:

UW-CTRI
The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI), acampus-wide program housed within the Division of General Internal Medicine, has a wide-ranging research program with an active outreach component to translate research into practice. The UW-CTRI is lead by DOM Professor Michael Fiore, MD. Additionally, Professor Timothy Baker, PhD, Professor Douglas Jorenby, PhD, Associate Professor Stevens Smith, PhD, and Assistant Professors Jessica Cook, PhD, James Davis, MD, and Megan Piper, PhD, all faculty in the Department of Medicine, are accomplished and active members of the UW-CTRI research team. Currently, the UW CTRI has a research and intervention portfolio of approximately $6 million per year with more than forty full-time staff. For more information on UW-CTRI and their different research projects visit their website (www.ctri.wisc.edu).

Validation of an online Educational Prescription to evaluate resident EBM competency
Dr. Feldstein has developed an online educational prescription to both teach residents EBM and evaluate their competency practicing EBM. Residents complete an educational prescription to answer a question that arises during clinical care. They present the information to their preceptor who uses the online grading system to determine resident competency in the different EBM domains. Six residencies across the country are currently using the educational prescription.

Improving and expanding the primary care of chronic kidney disease
Dr. Feldstein led a group of researchers to develop a clinical decision support tool to help PCPs provide guideline based care for their patients with chronic kidney disease. Twenty PCPs from six primary care clinics throughout Wisconsin have implemented the clinical decision support tool. The study will determine the feasibility of this tool. As part of this study Dr. Feldstein also developed a chronic kidney disease self-efficacy questionnaire to determine PCPs self-efficacy caring for patients with chronic kidney disease.

A low literacy multimedia approach to disseminate bilingual diabetes CERSGs
The purpose of this grant is to test whether a bilingual, low literacy, multi-media information and assessment system used in daily clinical practice increases the impact of diabetes-specific CERSGs, enhances patient-centered care and improves patient outcomes.

Trust in Health Care and Health Disparities in an Aging Population
The overall goals of this project are to examine differences in health care trust between older African Americans and non-Hispanic whites and to evaluate the degree to which these differences contribute to racial disparities in health in older age.

Measuring Health-related Trust in Diverse Populations
This research study will provide valid, accurate tools for measuring trust in health care across the three major racial/ethnic groups in the United States and with information about what factors might contribute to differences in trust in health care and therefore disparities.

Partnerships in Health: BASIC Training in Medicine
With a team of curriculum leaders and co-investigators, Dr. Christie Seibert is developing, implementing and evaluating a new curriculum for medical students that integrates behavioral and social sciences into more traditional medical student training. The curriculum will include 6 content domains: mind-body interactions, patient behavior, physician role and behaviors, physician-patient interactions, social and cultural issues in medical care and health policy and economics.

Assessing risk in ambulatory medication use after hospital transitions
(Medication Information Management at Transitions of Care: MIMTOC)

This AHRQ-funded study aims to evaluate the failures in the medication information management process during transitions of care from the hospital to the primary care clinic from a primary care perspective. Observations and interviews at 3 primary care clinics and 2 hospitals in Wisconsin identify and evaluate the failures that occur, their causes and error recovery pathways. Tosha Wetterneck, MD, MS is the study PI (K08 award).

Incorporating Health Information Technology into Workflow Redesign
This AHRQ-funded contract aims to perform a systematic review of the literature and an environmental scan to design a toolkit for use by small and medium size ambulatory primary care practices to guide them through the process of using health information technology to improve workflow. Tosha Wetterneck, MD, MS is a Co-Investigator on the study. Pascale Carayon, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering) is the PI. For more information see the project website.

A Human Factors Intervention to Reduce Risk in Primary Care of the Elderly
This AHRQ-funded study (R18SH017899) uses a randomized controlled field study with 4 clinics and 2300 patients to test a novel human factors engineering intervention to improve primary care physician situation awareness in order to reduce safety risks in primary care of elderly patients. Tosha Wetterneck, MD, MS is a Co-Investigator on the study. 

Hospitalist Quality of Working Life
The research study funded by the Society of Hospital Medicine aims to evaluate the current quality of working life of a nationally representative sample of US hospitalists using survey methods. Tosha Wetterneck, MD, MS is a lead investigator on the study along with Keiki Hinami, MD at Northwestern and Chad Whelan, MD, at Loyola.


Past Research Projects